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Installing Visual Studio Versions Side-by-Side

Visual Studio supports the installation of Visual Studio .NET 2002, 2003, Visual Studio 2005, and Visual Studio 2008 on the same computer. Side-by-side installations of Visual Studio 2008 and an earlier version of Visual Studio may help you evaluate Visual Studio 2008 as you gradually upgrade.

NoteNote:

In general, you should install the earliest release of Visual Studio first, and then install subsequent versions of Visual Studio in the order in which they were released. For example, Visual Studio .NET 2002 should be installed before Visual Studio 2005, and Visual Studio 2005 should be installed before Visual Studio 2008.

Before you install versions side by side, you should know the following conditions:

  • If you open a Visual Studio .NET 2002 solution in Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, or Visual Studio 2008 and save the solution, you can no longer open the solution in Visual Studio .NET 2002.

  • If you open a Visual Studio .NET 2003 solution in Visual Studio 2005 or Visual Studio 2008, you are requested to upgrade the solution. Once upgraded, the solution can no longer be opened in Visual Studio .NET 2003.

  • Changes in how ProgIDs are handled in the Visual Studio .NET 2003 Automation model can cause errors to occur in add-ins written in Visual Studio .NET 2002. Also, invoking new instantiations of the integrated development environment (IDE) now requires a version-dependent ProgID.

  • If you uninstall a version of Visual Studio on a computer that has more than one version installed, the file associations for Visual Studio will be removed for all versions. You can remap these file associations by using the Restore File Associations button found on General, Environment, Options Dialog Box.

  • If you install Visual Studio 2008 and on a computer that already has Visual Studio 2005 installed, and you repair Visual Studio 2005 , Visual Studio 2005  will not repair .NET Framework 2.0. You must manually repair .NET Framework 2.0 by selecting the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 entry in Add or Remove Programs or Programs and Features, depending on your operating system.

  • Visual Studio .NET 2002 was released with version 1.0 of the Microsoft .NET Framework SDK; Visual Studio .NET 2003 was released with version 1.1. If you have one of these versions of the .NET Framework installed, Visual Studio .NET 2003 lets you choose which version your projects support.

  • Visual Studio 2005 includes version 2.0 of the .NET Framework. Visual Studio 2005 does not let you choose to support version 1.0 or version 1.1 of the .NET Framework. You can only create projects that support version 2.0.

  • Visual Studio 2008 includes version 3.5 of the .NET Framework. Visual Studio 2008 lets you choose whether projects target .NET Framework 2.0, .NET Framework 3.0, or .NET Framework 3.5.

  • Visual Basic and Visual C# projects use a new property, Target Frameworks. Visual C++ lets you manually specify runtime support. For more information, click a topic in the following table:

If you install Visual Studio .NET 2002, Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, or Visual Studio 2008 on the same computer, you also install different versions of Help for Visual Studio.

Before you install versions side by side, you should know the following conditions:

  • The Help that is installed with Visual Studio .NET 2003 includes new information for the features and updates provided in Visual Studio .NET 2003, and also corrections and additional information that apply to Visual Studio .NET 2002 and Visual Studio .NET 2003.

  • The Help that is installed with Visual Studio 2005 includes new information for features and updates provided in Visual Studio 2005, and also corrections and additional information that apply to Visual Studio .NET 2002 and Visual Studio .NET 2003.

  • The Help that installs with Visual Studio 2008 includes new information for features and updates provided in Visual Studio 2008, and also corrections and additional information that may also apply to Visual Studio .NET 2002, Visual Studio .NET 2003, and Visual Studio 2005.

  • To save space on your computer, you can specify that Visual Studio .NET 2002 use the version of Help included with Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, or Visual Studio 2008 and then uninstall the Visual Studio .NET 2002 Help files. Similarly, you can specify that Visual Studio .NET 2003 use the version of Help included with Visual Studio 2005 and uninstall the Visual Studio .NET 2003 Help files. For more information, see The Visual Studio Combined Help Collection.

  • If you try to view the Visual Studio .NET 2002 topics you included in your Favorites by using the Help for Visual Studio .NET 2003, Visual Studio 2005, or Visual Studio 2008, the topic titles will appear, but the links will be broken.

  • If you open a Visual Basic project that was upgraded from Visual Basic 6.0 in Visual Studio .NET 2003, any Help links in the project will be broken.

You can install multiple Express Editions on the same computer. After you have installed the first Express Edition, you cannot change the installation directory for any subsequent Express Edition you install because these editions share key application files.

You have the option of installing Help for Express Editions. If you install Help for one Express Edition, you do not have to install Help for any additional Express Editions. If you decide not to install the Help files, you can still access Help by selecting online Help sources in the Options dialog box. For more information, see Online, Help, Environment, Options Dialog Box.

Each Express Edition includes Help files that are specific to that edition. However, if you installed several Express Editions, you cannot view Help files for those editions at the same time.

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